Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Kissinger’s Epiphany

State of the Union: Henry Kissinger raises an important question about loyalty and mass-migration. 

Credit: mark reinstein

“It was a grave mistake to let in so many people of totally different culture and religion and concepts, because it creates a pressure group inside each country that does that,” Henry Kissinger opined during an interview with a German TV outlet. 

Readers might remember that I wrote about the British-Indian Home Secretary Suella Braverman saying the exact same thing in a speech in Washington, D.C. a week or so ago. 


That this may be controversial defies logic. Migration is arguably good and even beneficial when it is limited, and merit-oriented. It is almost inevitably bad when it is unchecked mass-migration of hordes of military-age men with no loyalty towards their new land. It is also bad even when it is legal migration, but on a massive scale, which replaces local workers with cheap foreign labor. 

Mass-migration results in parallel societies that eventually always need a despotic or imperial centralized power to maintain the ethnic peace—which is to say, a non-democratic power—and creates a condition of multiple loyalties—which also inevitably ends democracy. The question ultimately comes down to this: Where does a migrant’s loyalty lie? To their old country and its tribal and ethnic rivalries, or to their new land? The test of that loyalty comes to the fore in times of crisis related to their older lands and ethnicities. From the Boston bomber to the Turkish brawl in Washington D.C. to the Israeli and Palestinian flag waving in major cities, the answer is quite obvious. This is going to be an increasingly important question directly tied to the survival of the republic. 

It understandably might bother an American or a European, or even to an assimilated migrant in Europe or America, to see throngs of men waving the Palestinian flag, just as it might, to see them wave the Turkish, Indian, Pakistani, or Mexican flags. Loyalty is fundamentally tied to geography, and is only reinforced by a culturally unifying ethos. It is not remotely controversial to say that the “pluribus” wouldn’t exist without the “unum” part of the equation. 

The question is, as always, what is to be done

The post-1945 human rights norms, originally designed to prevent totalitarian tyranny, is the “original sin” that killed politics, democracy, and “great leaders” who make good decisions for their people. They moved power from the hands of the people and their elected leaders to a swarm of managerial NGO-cracy. 

Because of that, Europe and America are both helpless in preventing unchecked mass-migration and of maintaining the peace with migrants of multiple loyalties. If one truly desires a civilized, assimilated, and unified democracy, then the post-’45 human rights guardrails need to be replaced. It is from a different era with a different demographic and material reality. 

Elections will increasingly not matter if elected leaders have their hands tied by the Gordian knot of NGO-cracy. It is way past due time to cut that knot.